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Tue, Oct 19 2021 

Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Castle is Windham's cornerstone


By Michael Kelley
Correspondent

Regardless of what Red Sox GM does before the July 31 trading deadline, residents of Windham, N.H., won't be surprised. After all, their town once traded a school for a chapel.

Back in 1909, Windham was known for Edward F. Searles, an eccentric interior decorator and antique collector. He had recently built a school and chapel, at a cost of nearly $40,000. He offered to give the town ownership of the new building, but asked for Windham's School House No. 1. A few years before Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees to finance a Broadway play, an eccentric resident had traded his magnificent chapel for a school.

The building, located on 35 Range Road, can't be missed. The English Tudor castle nestled in the New Hampshire woods, high atop a 175-acre estate, has cathedral-style cypress ceilings and arched doorways.

The building served as a school for a number of years, and eventually some of its architectural wonder was masked. More traditional ceilings were suspended below the arched ones.

Although the chapel no longer functions as a school, it hosts a number of events these days, and has been recently refurbished.

"It hosts weddings, private parties, and other functions," said Joan Tuck, town clerk of Windham.

For more information on the chapel or to reserve a function, call 603-890-6259.

Searlescastlewindham.com

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